By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
The Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams are ready to start their spring season after a slow and snowy start. Senior captain Shane Hathaway is excited to start his last season with the Beavers. Hathaway acknowledged the delayed start, saying it’s “Pretty tough to have a meet with 5 inches of snow still on the track, it was sad to cancel but we would have had to race in our snowshoes.”
Hathaway has been a key contributor in the Beavers’ past success, having won the 110 meter hurdles during his freshman year. Hathaway is a three time hurdle champion in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC), which is the conference that UMF participates in with all of its athletics. Hathaway is also a two-time New England qualifier for the hurdles.
Captain Shane Hathaway finishes an intense race. (Photo by Jeff Lamb)
“I’d say hurdles is probably my favorite event, it’s something that came naturally when I first started the sport,” Hathaway said.
Sophomore Throwing captain Jessica Brink is also eager to start the season, saying that the Women’s team “will be strong competitors” in all events, giving Castleton State and Colby-Sawyer a run for their money. Brink is a returning team member but is not as new to the sport.
“Track [and Field] means a lot to me and has given me many opportunities that I otherwise would not have,” Brink said. “I love to throw and it feels great when you work so hard on your technique and you get a personal record. But I think what feels even better is when you get to share in that experience with you teammates.”
Senior Sprint captain Kaitlin Virgin is a great team player and can always find the positive in situations. Virgin said in a online interview, “I think our biggest strength as a team is our ability to overcome adversity. Not having an actual track to work out on or not having a lot of space and equipment that a team of our size really needs actually benefits us in a lot of ways.”
Hathaway believes that the Beavers “have a good shot at winning the NAC this year.” After the Beavers were defeated by Colby-Sawyer by eighty-nine points last spring, winning the NAC would be great for the team.
Virgin said that the Women’s team “has a lot of talented athletes who work really hard, so a win would be incredible and is very possible.”
The first meet scheduled earlier in March was canceled due to snow still covering the track. Instead, their season is scheduled to start Saturday, March 31, at Southern New Hampshire University for the Springtime Invitational.
By Keely McConomy Contributing Writer
Ryan Smith, one of the new assistant coaches for the UMF Track and Field team, is excited to help train student athletes. His goal as the assistant coach is to “make this sport a tradition” and “to elevate Maine running,” Smith said.
Smith competes in professional running as well as coaching at UMF. Smith mostly works with l
New Assistant Coach Ryan Smith. (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)
ong distances runners, supporting head coach Daniel Campbell. Smith and Campbell work together to help the student athletes improve as runners and people.
“Dan helps me coach the big picture,” said Smith.
Though Campbell has an outstanding reputation for his coaching career, Smith has brought some newer ideas to UMF that could help the team improve in many ways. Smith’s philosophy on coaching is all about planning for the future.
Chloe Kenyon, a sophomore and second year Track and Field athlete at UMF, said Smith “goes from [the month of] May when we want to be at our peak and builds the workouts backwards from there.” Smith “is always excited at practice,” said Kenyon.
Running is a mental and physical sport; helping the athletes prepare for the outdoor season is vital to their success. Smith loves coaching so much that he tells all his athletes that he will always be happy to help them continue the sport, even after they are done running for UMF.
“For me, I’d love to stay here,” said Smith.
He hopes to coach at UMF as long as he can and continue putting his best efforts into helping student athletes become the most successful they can be.
Smith is a recent graduate from Goshen college in Indiana, where he was an All-American runner. He started competing in Track and Field in high school, and his goal from the first day was to beat the high school’s record for the five kilometer. He was told beating the record was impossible. By his senior year he proved his doubters wrong by beating the record by one second. At UMF, Smith wants to bring a similar legacy.
UMF will be competing in the Maine State Open at the University of Southern Maine on February 24th. The meet is important to Smith and the UMF team because teams from nearby states will also be competing with all the Maine teams. “It’s an effort to draw people from out of state and show them, ‘Hey we can compete too,’” said Smith.
By Leah Boucher –Staff Reporter
The UMF Track Club has recently grown to over 30 athletes, creating a challenge for its Executive Board to strictly adhere to the $4,200 budget given for the winter semester. With the first meet of the season on December 9th, the team faces the stress of funding before they begin to compete.
Instead of coaches taking on the responsibility of the club, students on the E-board are in control of finding transportation, lodging, and calculating the costs of each meet while trying to stay under budget. Ben Toribio, President of the club, knows that the increase in team size this semester will force them to make some changes in order to stay within their funds.
Senior Jesse Enos and UMF Alum Sean Cabaniss compete in an indoor track meet in 2016.
credit: Jesse Enos
“During the last indoor track season, we had around 20 athletes, allowing us to take school vans or local buses to meets,” said Toribio. “However, now that we are pushing 30 members, we need to look for other ways to transport the entire team without spending thousands of dollars on a coach bus.”
Jesse Enos, Vice President of the club, has the job of finding out what, how, and when the team will spend the money, forcing him and Toribio to make the decision to cancel the original first meet on December 2nd.
“To my knowledge, I don’t think the budget has changed drastically since last year, but more members means more equipment, gear, and entrance fees,” said Enos. “Plus, after looking for a coach bus to Smith College for two days, it would have put us out of $3,500, which made it fiscally irresponsible to attend that meet with our budget in mind.”
Kirsten Corey, Secretary of the Track Club, is sticking with a positive outlook on the season due to team growth. “When looking at our overall team goals for the winter semester, I do not expect that our limited budget will interfere with reaching them, as more members give us a stronger team,” said Corey. “Ultimately, our goals for indoor are to train and prepare for the NAC championship meet in the outdoor season, so even if we have a meet or two canceled, we can still prepare just as hard in practices.”
Enos believes that if the indoor club was instead a varsity sport, they may have more money to work with to attend meets in Massachusetts and other states in New England.
“Right now, it’s disappointing that we can’t attend more meets in various states, as this gives us more competition to work with and build from,” he said. “If we were a varsity sport, our funding would come from tuition, but as a club, most of our money comes from the activity fee that all students pay as well as any fundraising we take on, limiting our choice in meets in connection with their distance from UMF.”
Although the team will compete in Maine for the majority of their meets, Corey doesn’t want this to discourage new members. “Most of our new athletes are freshman, and they have a lot of potential and put a lot of work into each practice,” she said. “As a team, we need to support them and stress the importance of their talents and efforts.”